25 Days Of Christmas Music 2018: Day 9

Hi, Everybody!!!  Welcome back to the countdown.

day 10

Vintage Christmas card image found on Pinterest (original source unknown). 

We lost today’s artist, Roy Orbison, 30 years ago this month.  He started his career in the late 1950’s at Sun Records but eventually moved to Monument Records in the 1960’s where he met Willie Nelson, who wrote today’s song.  The 1980’s saw Orbison in a  career resurgence thanks to his part in the super group, Traveling Wilburys.  Bruce Springsteen is a huge fan of his, even immortalized Orbison in “Thunder Road”  (“…as the radio plays…Roy Orbison singing for the lonely…”) and inducted him into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 1987.  Springsteen and several other musicians took part in HBO’s “Roy Orbison & Friends:  A Black & White Night” which was filmed a year before Orbison’s death.

He began his career singing emotional ballads in an almost operatic style underscored by his wide vocal range.  Many of his songs were about lost love (“Crying”) or losing love (“Running Scared”) or just admiring someone probably out of his league (“Oh Pretty Woman”).  Even his one contribution to holiday music is sad, but the chance to hear his fabulous unique voice anytime of year is worth it.

VARIOUS

Roy Orbison circa 1960 (original source unknown). 

Roy Orbison:  “Pretty Paper“(1963).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you  🙂

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, happy listening!!!

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25 Days Of Christmas Music 2018: Day 8

Hi, Everybody!!!  Welcome back to the countdown.

I love simple, natural, elegant, neutral holiday displays like this one.  I think it is so pretty.  What do you think?

day 8.jpg

Found on Pinterest/homedit page.

Every year on this day I remember the man who died 38 years ago today.  It was a devastating loss to the world but for a few days at least, people were united in their shared grief.  The petty annoyances and ballast of everyday living were temporarily put aside as the world reflected on the loss of a good man, a husband, a father and the loss of innocence his death brought to so many.  But together those who mourned survived, observed a 10 minute moment of silence to honor the man they loved and lost and went on with their lives with a hole in their hearts that never quite healed.

But let me be clear-I want to celebrate this man more than acknowledge his death.  He stood for many things, but the two things I remember most about him were his music and his desire for a peaceful world.  He wrote about it in his songs, campaigned for it in his actions, spoke about it whenever he could and lived his life reflecting this desire.

And his one musical contribution to the Christmas season is a testament to what he wanted for the world and each one of us as individuals.  So maybe as you listen to this beautiful song, you can think of the ways to achieve peace for yourself, whether that means mending a broken relationship, or ending a destructive one once and for all, choosing to forget the materialism this season can bring and choose to reflect on the things you have that cannot be bought, to choose to spend the holidays your way instead of being guilted into a family holiday that brings you nothing but stress (remember, there are 364 other days you can spend with your loved ones), or to not feel bad if you do not have the big warm family gathering we see all over TV this season.  Peace is about what brings you happiness and joy, what calms your soul and fills your heart.  And no one can define that for you except you.  So let this be the year you bring peace to your world.

John-Lennon-Happy-XmasRough-127822

John Lennon & Yoko Ono with the Plastic Ono Band the Harlem Community Choir:  “Happy Christmas (War Is Over)” (1971).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you  🙂

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, happy listening!!!

25 Days Of Christmas Music 2018: Day 7

Hi, Everybody!!!  Welcome back to the countdown.

day 7

Found on Pinterest/House Beautiful Magazine’s page.

Today’s song was written by Gene Redd & blues singer Charles Brown in 1960.  Brown recorded the original version the same year and it has since been covered by the likes of the Eagles, Willie Nelson, Martina McBride and Kelly Clarkson, to name a few.  The original is my favorite followed very closely by the 1993 version by a soul and R&B powerhouse who began as a solo performer in the 1960’s, then joined a group with his brothers in the 1970’s before hitting the top of the charts with a couple of duets with Linda Ronstadt in 1989 & 1990, including the #1 Billboard Adult Contemporary smash “Don’t Know Much”.

charles brown              aaron

Charles Brown (circa 1960’s)                                Aaron Neville (circa 1990’s)

Aaron Neville:  “Please Come Home For Christmas” (1993).

Charles Brown:  “Please Come Home For Christmas” (1960).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you  🙂

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, happy listening!!!

25 Days Of Christmas Music 2018: Day 6

Hi, Everybody!!!  Welcome back to the countdown.

Can we take a minute to adore this DIY upcycle I found on Pinterest?  Is this not the cutest???!!!  I have several old spice tins (I may even have the cinnamon one featured below) but I never even thought of doing something this seasonal and creative with them and old bottle brush trees.  I am completely in love with this idea!!!

christmas day 6

Found on Pinterest (original source unknown). 

Now for today’s song.  It is another Christmas standard initially made famous by Bing Crosby in the 1940’s.   The woman who recorded the version featured today released hers in 2013 and it has a really nice Herb Alpert-esque trumpet arrangement going on throughout it.  Add the singer’s interpretation of this classic with her soulful powerful voice and you have a new reason to love this song all over again.

day 6

Kelly Clarkson:  “I’ll Be Home For Christmas“.

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you  🙂

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, happy listening!!!

25 Days of Christmas Music 2018: Day 5

Hi, Everybody!!!  Welcome back to the countdown.

Christmas day 5

Found on Pinterest (original source unknown).

I love duets.  Always have.  There is something so special about two voices coming together.  They can be from opposite ends of the spectrum, like in the case of Bing Crosby & David Bowie on “The Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth”  or two women from two different eras like Linda Ronstadt and Bette Midler on “Sisters“ or male/female like today’s song pick.  He’s a crooner who sings with big band sounds and she is a country superstar who writes (or co-writes) most of her own songs.   The musical arrangement for this duet is based on the Drifters version (which was featured in “Home Alone”) but also features some powerful horns which puts it on a level all its own.  It’s hard to believe that an Irving Berlin song from 1941 which is one of the most recorded songs in history can still be given a different spin after all these years.

Buble

Michael Buble & Shania Twain:  “White Christmas“.

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you  🙂

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, happy listening!!!

25 Days Of Christmas Music 2018: Day 4

Hi, Everybody!!!  Welcome back to the countdown.

rustic holiday sleigh

Found on Pinterest (original source unknown). 

Today’s song was written as an instrumental 70 years ago by American composer Leroy Anderson.  Lyricist Mitchell Parish added the words two years later.  That same year, the Andrew Sisters recorded the song.  I really enjoy their version-the three part harmony, the sound effects and the addition of male background singers at the choruses.  The Ronettes also recorded a great version of this holiday tune in 1963, but my favorite one is by the First Lady of Song.   In her lifetime she recorded over 200 albums, sold over 40 million records, won 13 Grammy Awards and played at Carnegie Hall a total of 26 times.  She was also awarded the National Medal of Arts and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  The lady could sing and swing.   And everything in between.

Ella

Courtesy of the Ella Fitzgerald website.  

Ella Fitzgerald:  “Sleigh Ride“.

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you  🙂

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, happy listening!!!

25 Days Of Christmas Music 2018: Day 3

Hello, Everybody!!!  Welcome back to the countdown.

christmas day 3.jpg

Found on Pinterest (original source unknown).

Another day.  Another song.  Another legend.

Picture it:  Sunday, February 9, 1964.  Four lads from Liverpool were introduced to America thanks to their earth shattering performance on “The Ed Sullivan Show.”  This man was the final piece of the Beatles puzzle.  The last one to join, but the one who set the foundation of the group with every beat of his drums.  As great as the other three were, would “Yellow Submarine” or “With A Little Help From My Friends” have sounded the same if they were sung by John, Paul or George?  No.  Sir Richard Starkey made them all his own.  He began as a poor boy, too, who eventually played his drums for a king.  Just like the little boy in today’s song.

Ringo

Ringo Starr (original source unknown).

Ringo Starr:  “The Little Drummer Boy“.

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you  🙂

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, happy listening!!!